Sunday, July 4, 2010

Chocolate Chocolate Cupcakes

I came to the realization that I haven't done nearly enough baking to justify the purchase of my new Kitchenaid mixer. I wanted to make pretty cupcakes. Not just yummy cake with some frosting slathered on, but some that looked beautiful, too. After researching a bit online, I realized that pretty cupcakes come from frosting with a pastry bag and a large tip, usually a star tip. I knew that my first pretty cupcake attempt would have to be double chocolate cupcakes, because I knew even if they came out awful, the husband would still eat them because he loves chocolate cake so much. I found both the cake recipe and the frosting recipe on the Hershey's website. I had heard really good things about the perfectly chocolate cake recipe, and it didn't disappoint. The only change I made was to use about half of dutch process style cocoa and half regular Hershey's cocoa in each recipe. This made the cake really rich and chocolatey, but didn't use up ALL my hard to find dutch process cocoa. I will say though, dutch process cocoa is totally worth it. Just looking at the two versions, you can definitely tell which is which! These turned out so good! The cake batter is way runnier than I would have thought, but it still turned out great. I think my decorating skills were pretty good, too, although I think I will need to make just a little extra frosting next time, since you tend to run out faster when piping instead of traditional frosting. The best part about the frosting is that, while it still isn't exactly good for you, I felt so much better knowing exactly what was going into it. No trans fats when you use straight up butter! I brought most of these to the bike shop and they were devoured in 24 hours, but my favorite was bringing one to the little guy I mentor. His response when I asked him how he liked his cupcake was simply: "I love you!" I've already made him another batch for his birthday!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting (From Hershey's)
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
3. CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 24 cupcakes.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

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